The beauty of Flores begins with its name meaning flower in Portugese. The island which possesses a myriad of environments and scents hailing from coffee roasting in the hills and clove cigarettes to the unmissable scent of the ocean. It’s the perfect getaway from the crowds to enjoy all that this secluded and idyllic place has to offer. Boasting strange yet beautiful natural phenomena from multi-hued lakes, pink sand, red lakes and blue stone beaches. Flores possesses many adventure and exploration activities including world-class diving, snorkelling, hiking and trekking along with the opportunity to marvel at the world’s largest lizard at Komodo National Park; the Komodo dragon.
For those looking for adventure by foot, Flores is the land of soaring peaks and scenic lakes with plenty of vast and jagged rocks to be explored. Hike up the famous Kelimutu Volcano with its three crater lakes nestled inside each mountain every one gleaming a different colour. The difference in hue is said to be a result of the different gases bubbling under the surface making them appear strong tones of blue, red and green. From the top, a spectacular sunrise can be witnessed before heading back down to the beach for a swim on one of the many stretches of white sand beaches.
The top of ‘Love Hill’ is the perfect spot to see Flores in all its glory, tropical forests, picturesque hills and the azure waters of the Flores sea make for an incredible viewpoint for a romantic sunset. Trek through local villages inhabited by the indigenous Manggarai people, amongst sweeping jungles, craggy cliffs and cascading waterfalls to enjoy a spot to relax and cool off in one of the pools at the base of the fall. The caves on Flores are an unmissable adventure to anyone who’s visiting. Rich in some of the most amazing archeological finds in Indonesia. A small museum explaining the history in more depth has been set up and to truly help understand the coming of this incredible place.
The Flores fields are unlike regular rice paddies found in Indonesia and come with a cultural heritage of meaning. Famous for their spider web-like formation. Each part of the web is assigned to a different family member in the surrounding villages. Immerse yourself in the culture of the island and daily activities by visiting a local village inhabited by the indigenous people. They’re more than happy to invite visitors to share local customs and the celebration of the Caci dance; a form of expression between two men which holds a lot of the island’s history. A story told through the movements.
Teeming with an abundant array of marine life make diving the waters of Flores something of an underwater paradise. Spotting manta rays through swift currents of Komodo National Park to the outstanding display of critters in Maumere Bay. Expect to see everything from turtles, snakes, octopus and hundreds of colourful fish to inlets beaming with vibrant reefs and soft coral gardens. The reefs offshore of Seraya Islands are perfect for snorkelling and diving where it is not uncommon to see plenty of sharks and turtles.
Luckily for those exploring the area of Flores by private yacht reaching the peaceful islands and stunning surroundings of Riung National Park is much easier. A subdistrict of Riung located to the north of Bajawa is famed for its majestic coral gardens and untouched coastlines which have become a protected conservation area otherwise known as 17 islands. Actually made up of twenty small and larger islands the national park is home to a variety of exotic species. Including the Timor deer, hedgehogs, monkeys, ferrets, Timor monitor lizard, marsupials and a spot for bird lovers to see eagles, white herons, black storks, partridges to name a few. It has also been reported a species of the Komodo dragon named Mbou has been seen. To fully appreciate the history of the national park it is possible to get amongst the Riung Village for a cultural experience and the opportunity to witness some of Ngada peoples hunting and gathering techniques. As well as some of their lively and traditional celebrations.
Encompassing a dramatic coral reef ecosystem where up to 27 different species of coral have been recorded in the National Parks waters. Home to a plentiful array of animals including marine mammals such as dolphins, whales and other colourful fish and the crystal clear waters are a stunning backdrop for swimming, snorkelling and underwater photography opportunities.